Crispy Gamer

Weekend Playlist, 7/31/2009

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alt="James Fudge"/>

James Fudge: I finally had a chance to play Plants vs. Zombies. Man, why did I wait so long? It's incredible, so I'll waste some time playing that this weekend. I'm addicted to Battlefield 1943, and even though it only has three maps and I suck at the game, I'm still loving it. I'm also going to test-drive Bionic Commando and Bionic Commando Rearmed on the PC if I have time, and I really want to check out Battlefield Heroes to see what it's like. All in all, a pretty busy weekend now that I have run out of decent books to read.

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alt="Ryan Kuo"/>

Ryan Kuo: I've finally given up hope for saving my Plants vs. Zombies save. You've convinced me to start over. Any sense of accomplishment I had from that game has by now vanished, so I doubt I'll mind.

Most of my time will probably be spent "evolving" my Space Invaders Infinity Gene game on the iPod. The game depicts new unlocked features as branches on a tree. I spent an hour last night in Music mode, which generates a unique level for each song in your music library, and unlocked a ton of content in the process. So my game has evolved into a lopsided tree with a huge branch of power-ups and extra levels growing out from where I left off in the main game. Not only is this a portable, bullet-hell version of Space Invaders, but also a visual history of your time spent with it. I think it's awesome.

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alt="Harold Goldberg"/>

Harold Goldberg: I'm reading, reading, reading books about videogames. One of the best is Connie Bruck's "Master of the Game," about a third of which is about Atari. While I'm enjoying some parts of every book I've read, I'll be happy when my drafts for "The Game Changers" are complete in December. Then I can read a book that's not about games. (I still subscribe to the old adage that variety is the spice of life.)

I wish I could play The Beatles: Rock Band -- right now. I did alright at the Ringo portion of "I Am the Walrus" this week. Weirdly, and despite repetitive levels, I'm playing a lot of Starfy, probably because I like the water. I'm playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for a Crispy review, and I'm trying to think of a semi-pseudo-witty name for my new Crispy column, debuting later this month. Stay tuned.

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alt="Erin Bell"/>

Erin Bell: I'm working my way through the King's Quest Collection on Steam, reliving fond childhood memories. I'm also getting a kick out of a Flash game called Upgrade Complete -- a simple shooter where everything can be upgraded, right down to the menu buttons and title screen.

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Kyle Orland: Hosting a bachelor party in Baltimore this weekend means lots of drunken Wii Sports Resort and WarioWare: Smooth Moves, I hope. When I get back, I'll be playing through Bookworm Adventures 2 for review. As Lex would say, "Astonishing!"

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alt="Chris Buecheler"/>

Chris Buecheler: Seeing the King's Quest and Space Quest packs on Steam reminded me that my favorite Sierra series was always Quest for Glory, and a little Googling landed me on the Quest For Glory II remake by AGD Interactive. It's free, and pretty much a perfect update of the original. While I wish they'd gone with the first game rather than the second, I nonetheless am enjoying it. Sort of a 180-degree switch from Dead Space last week.

If Bookworm Adventures 2 comes out on Steam this weekend, I'll buy it, but typically it takes a couple of weeks before PopCap puts its latest stuff on that platform, and I try to avoid buying PC games that aren't on Steam. I really enjoyed the first one, so I'm looking forward to the sequel.

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alt="Erin Bell"/>

Erin Bell: Bookworm Adventures 2 is out on Steam today, Chris :) Simultaneously launched on PopCap.com, iWin and Steam.

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alt="James Fudge"/>

James Fudge: I'm adding this Quest for Glory remake to my playlist -- thanks Chris. When I'd heard that Steam was bringing some Sierra classics to the masses, I was really disappointed that Leisure Suit Larry and Quest for Glory weren't part of that initial release. Quest for Glory (first released under the name Hero's Quest -- they changed the name because there was a board game of the same name) was one of the first DOS games I ever played, along with Pool of Radiance, on my crappy little 8086 (green screen, no color). It's because of those games that I am a PC gamer for life.

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alt="Trow Goodfellow"/>

Troy Goodfellow: This weekend, it's refighting the Good War in Hearts of Iron 3. I'm only a mild fan of the series, but, boy, is this one deeper and smoother. I've kind of given up on Paradox's manuals, but I needed it this time and it's a real nice piece of work. Fingers crossed that the fun holds out. Time to retake the Philippines.

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alt="Gus Mastrapa"/>

Gus Mastrapa: Here's a weird one. I'm kind of hooked by Crazy Planets, one of the Playfish social games on Facebook. In fact, all of you guys should play so my weapons will upgrade faster. I just installed Bookworm Adventures 2 from PopCap. And FedEx just dropped off a copy of Dissidia: Final Fantasy. So both of those are certainly on the menu. Besides that, I hope to get some Left 4 Dead in on Saturday night. And bedside, I've got my DS with Pok?mon Mystery Dungeon in the slot. I'm not entirely sure why I picked it up again. It is certainly no Shiren the Wanderer.

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alt="William Abner"/>

William Abner: I'm playing Madden 10, Out of the Park Baseball X and my Blood Bowl league match.

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Russ Fischer: Gus got me interested in Crazy Planets, too, so I've been doing a bit of that every day. I like how it makes you wait overnight for upgrades and certain options to refresh, so I can play for 20 or 30 minutes, then come back the next day. Bookworm Adventures 2 is on the docket, too, and I've been playing some Fat Princess. Also have to do more Fallout 3 for a feature Gus and I are working on, and that'll probably be it. I'm still recovering from Comic Con, and I feel like I need to spend a significant chunk of time outside to really be whole again.

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alt="Evan Narcisse"/>

Evan Narcisse: Finally reached the mountaintop in Fight Night Round 4, so I think I'll be putting it down since I've achieved Greatest of All Time rank in my Legacy Mode career. The raves from both Kyle and Playboy editor Scott Alexander will spur me to check out 'Splosion Man. There will likely be some Fat Princess in my future, too, since I'm due to review it. I'll also be on a mess of iPhone games for an upcoming article.

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James Fudge: Gus has also managed to get me hooked on Crazy Planets, and I, in turn, have managed to get several non-gamers hooked on it because they use Facebook. I don't know if this game will be fun a week or two from now, but in the here and now it's as addictive as heroin-coated crack. This is the first Facebook game that I've actually enjoyed.

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alt="Scott Jones"/>

Scott Jones: Stuck in NYC thanks to an airport f***-up. Looks like the PS2 and I will have to cozy up for one more night. Started Dark Mirror last night. Also dusted off my old copy of Sly 3. Hit the 25-percent mark on Maximo vs. Army of Zin (which isn't very good, but I'm still kind of into it). Which, come to think of it, is a relatively accurate description of almost every relationship I've ever had. Sad face.

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alt="John Keefer"/>

John Keefer: I'm in the Aion beta, so I expect to be busy checking out the different factions and classes. The game has looked really good the few times I have seen it, so it will be interesting to see how NCsoft and its Korean developer are fleshing it out for the United States, especially with the release date rapidly approaching. The game has been out in Korea and China since May under the title Aion. Hopefully this will put up a better fight against established MMOs (World of Warcraft) than Tabula Rasa, NCsoft's last MMO, did.

What's on your own playlist this weekend? Inquiring Game Trusters want to know. Leave a comment below.